Break the Pattern of Abusive Men

Women who get involved with abusive men are typically those who had abusive childhood home environments. This kind of upbringing tends to normalize abusive behavior in all relationships. What this means is that women from this kind of a background are not as keen to the subtleties of abuse the way “healthy” women are.

On a positive note, there is a silver lining here—all behavior can be relearned, including the ability to recognize early signs of abuse as unacceptable behaviors in a relationship. Once this is learned, a woman will be able to break free from unhealthy relationships with men who are no good for her.

Below is a list of common abusive behaviors to watch for from abusive men or abusive women:

  • Criticism about your good qualities;
  • Past abusive relationships;
  • Criminal activities;
  • Drinking or drug problems, past or present;
  • Mood swings;
  • Discourages your successes;
  • Jealousy;
  • Abusive family members or spouses of siblings;
  • Attempts to control your whereabouts;
  • Disrespect toward your publicly or privately;
  • Violations of others rights;
  • Irresponsibility;
  • Attempts to keep you isolated;
  • Persistent lying;
  • History of truancy, delinquency and running away;
  • Highly reactive;
  • Streaks of meanness toward others for no reason;
  • For women, threatened by relationships with men, past, present or imagined.
  • For men, threatened by relationships with women, past, present or imagined.

In order to recognize early abusive signs, a woman must stop rationalizing “abusive” behaviors as “normal.” If she sees ONE abusive behavior, regardless of how small, she needs to remind herself that it IS abuse. Period! With this new skill, she will soon be dating men who treat her with dignity and respect—the way all women deserve to be treated.

© 2007

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Nancy Fagan is the best-selling author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Romance' and 'Desirable Men: How to Find Them' has appeared on several hundred radio and television shows including Ricki Lake, Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The Berman & Berman Show, FOX News. She has been featured in most major newspaper in the United States and worldwide as well as regularly mentioned in the nation's top magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal ('Can this Marriage be Saved?'), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men's Health, Bride's, Seventeen, Women's Day, Family Circle, Women's Own, BBW, Complete Women and dozens of others. To read more, visit This column is reprinted with permission from Send questions to E-Mail

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